Chemical Peel Information for Patients

Chemical peels are skin treatments used to correct skin problems ranging from discoloration to acne scarring. Chemical peels can be a very effective and safe treatment when performed by dermatologists who understand how to treat skin of all colors.

Chemical Peel Benefits:

Chemical peels have many benefits, including increasing collagen production, reducing pore size and excess surface oil, acne scarring, and visible signs of aging. They are also an effective treatment for treating certain types of dark spots on the face (hyperpigmentation).

What is involved in a chemical peel?

An acid solution is applied to the skin to remove dead skin cells. This solution is then washed off. You may feel a tingling, itching, or burning sensation. Multiple treatments are usually necessary to achieve best results.

What types of peels are there?

Chemical peels are divided into 3 types:

Superficial peels:

These peel off the top layer of the skin and are very unlikely to cause complications in skin of color. Salicylic and glycolic acid peels can be used to treat acne, hyperpigmentation and melasma.

Medium-depth peels:

These penetrate to the deeper portion of the second layer of the skin. Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels can be used to treat hyper pigmentation, wrinkles, sun damage, and some types of scars.

Deep Peels:

These penetrate the lower portion of the second layer of the skin. These include peels with phenol and treat deep wrinkles or very sun damaged skin. Unfortunately, we currently do not offer this type of peel.

What are The Side Effects?

Potential effects include burning, itching, redness and swelling. Some patients may experience crusting or peeling with deeper peels.

How should I prepare?

Ask your doctor if you should continue your topical retinoids (i.e. Retin-A) prior to the procedure. Inform your doctor if you have a history of cold sores. You should plan to wear a moisturizer and broad spectrum sunscreen SPF 30+ daily for several weeks after the procedure. Avoid direct sun exposure for several months to avoid skin discoloration.

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